Dan Gilmore on the Supply Chain Center of Excellence Panel at CSCMP Edge 2017

Daniel Kimmel Technical Writer
Read Time: 2 minutes apprx.

Directly from the floor of the CSCMP Edge Conference, Dan Gilmore―voice of Supply Chain Digest―delivered a report covering the key points of a panel discussing the “hot topic” of building Supply Chain Centers of Excellence. The panel included Opex Analytics’ Mike Watson and Kristen Daihes, as well as Paul Brown from Clearwater Paper.

Gilmore’s report touches on the panel’s insights, including:

    1. “Why Analytics, and Why Now?”: They highlighted the fact that there are numerous problems (i.e. opportunities) within supply chain planning that simply aren’t being addressed by existing systems. Analytics teams are stepping up to the plate to find much needed solutions in a way that, says Gilmore, is reminiscent of the abandoned Operations Research Groups of the late 90s.


    1. Machine Learning: Gilmore cites Mike Watson’s potato chip illustration as “one of the best examples I’ve ever heard about how machine learning actually works.” To learn more about how Machine Learning actually works and see the potato chip illustration in action, check out the lecture Mike gave for Opex Academy in February, “What Business Leaders Need to Know about Machine Learning.”


    1. Self-Service Analytics Applications: The panel discussed applications that allow users to design analytics solutions for themselves. While these applications are a good development, says Gilmore referencing the panel, it carries its own serious risks concerning user errors and their implications. They suggested the possibility of having Supply Chain Centers of Excellence certify the user’s applications before use to catch avoidable mistakes.


Dan Gilmore’s discussion of the panel covers much more, including the need for teams to have balanced project portfolios, the necessity of determining the skills required for an effective analytics team, as well as the “talent barrier” currently making it difficult to fill needed positions (and possible ways around that barrier).

Overall, he was enthusiastic about the Supply Chain Center of Excellence panel, and his report can be viewed in full here. (His discussion of the panel in particular begins at mark 11:53).